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Russia After Détente

February 6, 1981

Report Outline
Growing Domestic Concerns
Insecurity in Communist Bloc
Threat to Global Standing
Special Focus

Growing Domestic Concerns

Differing Assessments of Soviet Strength

American perceptions of the Soviet Union currently fall into two general categories. Hard-liners tend to see the world primarily in terms of American-Soviet competition. They advocate an immediate and significant increase in American military power to deter Soviet aggression. At the other extreme — and increasingly on the defensive — are those who view the Soviets as insecure about their own domestic and external problems and the world as a complex arena where the superpowers exert some influence but not control.

There is little doubt as to where the Reagan administration stands in this debate. At his Senate confirmation hearings, Secretary of State Alexander M. Haig Jr. repeatedly emphasized the need for a U.S. military buildup to counter Soviet arms gains in recent years and to enable the United States to succeed in the fundamental task of “the management of Soviet power.”

Haig repeated this theme in his first press conference as secretary of state, held in Washington Jan. 28. He accused the Russians of promoting international terrorism and said that future arms control talks would be contingent on Soviet conduct and activities around the world. Secretary of Defense Caspar W. Weinberger also has taken a hard line against the Soviets. Weinberger told the Senate Armed Services Committee Jan. 28 that “the Soviet Union has embarked upon a military buildup unprecedented in world history.” For nearly 20 years, he said, “the Soviets have relentlessly improved their military capabilities across the spectrum” while U.S. strength has declined.

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Jun. 06, 2008  Dealing With the "New" Russia
Jun. 17, 2005  Russia and the Former Soviet Republics
Jan. 18, 2002  U.S.-Russia Relations
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May 03, 1996  Russia's Political Future
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Nov. 03, 1989  Balkanization of Eastern Europe (Again)
Feb. 14, 1986  Gorbachev's Challenge
Jan. 07, 1983  Russia Under Andropov
Feb. 19, 1982  Soviet Economic Dilemmas
Feb. 06, 1981  Russia After Détente
Feb. 04, 1977  Sino-Soviet Relations
Feb. 20, 1976  Soviet Options: 25th Party Congress
Jun. 28, 1972  Dissent in Russia
Mar. 17, 1971  Russia's Restive Consumers
Dec. 03, 1969  Kremlin Succession
Oct. 18, 1968  Czechoslovakia and European Security
Apr. 22, 1964  Changing Status of Soviet Satellites
Jan. 29, 1964  Soviet Agriculture: Record of Stagnation
Aug. 08, 1962  Jews in Soviet Russia
Jul. 16, 1958  Tito and the Soviets
Jun. 26, 1957  Soviet Economic Challenge
Aug. 29, 1956  Restive Satellites
Mar. 11, 1955  Soviet Economic Strains
Nov. 04, 1953  Russia's European Satellites
Aug. 03, 1951  Soviet Peace Offensives
Jul. 01, 1948  Russia's War Potential
Jun. 21, 1943  Evolution of Soviet Policies
Mar. 01, 1943  Soviet Russia and the Border States
Aug. 15, 1930  The Soviet Five-Year Plan
Aug. 26, 1929  The League and the Sino-Russian Dispute
Feb. 04, 1924  The Problem of Russian Recognition
BROWSE RELATED TOPICS:
Regional Political Affairs: Russia and the Former Soviet Union
U.S. at War: Cold War
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